Activities & Games

Sidewalk Mural
Kindergarten-5th Grade
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Allotted Time

30 minutes

Target Behavior

Get along with different types of people
Girls in WINGS program create a sidewalk mural

Words to Live By

I understand others are unique. I want to learn more about everyone I meet. I want to step into their shoes and see what they are going through.
Social Awareness
Others are unique and it's important to learn more about them

Children who understand others are unique can: 

RECOGNIZE how diversity enriches a community

DEMONSTRATE strategies for building relationships with others who are different from them

RECOGNIZE the existence of various groups based on social and cultural variables

DESCRIBE the basic rights of all individuals regardless of their social or cultural affiliations

Description

Students paint artwork on the sidewalks to share with the school/program/community.

Supplies

• Outdoor space with sidewalk or cement
• Cups
• Water
• Paint brushes/sponges
• Ingredients to make sidewalk chalk paint: a variety of colors of food coloring, cornstarch, and water
• Or purchase sidewalk chalk paint here: Sidewalk chalk paint

How to Play

  1. Prep Work: Make the sidewalk paint by mixing together one cup of water and one cup of cornstarch. Once the two ingredients are mixed, divide the mixture evenly into the cups. Add several drops of food coloring into different cups and mix together until you achieve the desired colors.
  2. Tell the group they will be making creative sidewalk art to make the neighborhood beautiful and let them know that everyone will be able to paint whatever they want.
  3. Show each student the variety of colors made. Encourage the group to share the supplies with each other.
  4. Pass out the paint brushes/sponges and a variety of paints to each student and spread out the students so that they have their own space to make sidewalk art.
  5. Inspire students to be creative with their sidewalk art. Remind them that everyone is unique and so each student’s sidewalk art will be different and a representation of themselves.
  6. If students are having a hard time brainstorming what to paint you can prompt them with these ideas:
    • Your favorite place to visit: (beach, playground, park)
    • The best weather that you’ve ever seen: (sunshine, a rainbow, a clear night full of stars)
    • Their favorite part of nature: (a waterfall, flowers, a tree, mountains)
    • Real or fantasy animals or creatures: (dog, bird, fish, unicorn, dinosaur, bugs)
    • Positive emotion faces: (smiling face, laughing person, people high fiving or working together)
    • Encouraging phrases: (“have a great day!”, “you are loved”, “smile big today”)
  1. Allow time for students to clean up their space and wash their hands at the end of the activity.

Activity Prompts for Reflection

  • Did anyone paint something unique that they’d like to share with the group?
  • How do we think people will feel when they see our sidewalk art?
  • Did anyone have a strength that helped them with the sidewalk art?
  • Was there anything that was difficult to do with the sidewalk art? Did anyone try to draw something new today?
  • Would anyone like to give a compliment to someone on their creative sidewalk art?

Other Ways to Play

  • Have boundaries for each student so they know where their personal space is to paint.
  • Call out words (hello, smile, love, happy) that they can practice painting on the sidewalk to help them practice their writing skills in a fun engaging way.
  • Play something similar to “Pictionary” where you tell a student to paint an object and the rest of the group has to try and guess what it is. Whoever guesses correctly first gets to be the next painter.
  • Have students help you create the sidewalk paint and practice their measuring skills. Teach them about colors and how mixing together different colors creates new colors. Ex: red and yellow make orange, yellow and blue make green, blue and red make purple.
  • Let students practice writing and learning about positive emotion words that you call out. Ex: elated, joyful, merry, exuberant, delighted, ecstatic, beaming.
  • Allow the group to come up with a larger mural idea and then have each student paint a certain part of that mural.

Additional Notes

  • Use the SEL Activity Prompts to tie other SEL competencies to this activity.
  • Have boundaries for each student so they know where their personal space is to paint.
  • If the weather isn’t ideal for outdoors or you don’t have a safe place to go outside, try making an indoor mural using bulletin paper and markers, then try to have it hung and displayed somewhere in the building.
  • Making the sidewalk chalk paint recommendations:
    • The recipe calls for one cup of cornstarch and one cup of water, but use your best judgment and add more water if the substance is too thick or add more cornstarch if the substance is too watery.
    • It is best to make and mix the sidewalk chalk paint shortly before using it because the mixture will not work as well after sitting for some time.

 

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